the sound and the fury [1]

one night, over scotch + euchre with our neighbors, Husband mentioned that in the teacher's office at school there is a shelf full of books that you can borrow and read. the content of this shelf ranges from Shakespeare to the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, and I think maybe a few trashy romance novels. as teachers come and go at the school [especially "western" teachers who are moving internationally and trying to save on shipping fees] books are taken and books are added.

at the time, I had been re-reading books I already had loaded on my kindle app, and was in need of some fresh material. as Husband was listing off titles he had seen, I expressed my interest in Faulkner's the sound and the fury. being the thoughtful guy he is, he brought it home for me a few days later. it was something I had heard about but never read. I don't think I was fully prepared for what I was about to encounter...

I was so excited the day I started reading. the first section of the book is a bit tricky, and it takes a while to get used to the stream-of-consciousness writing. I thought I was doing a good job of deciphering the story, until I started the second section. written from a different person's viewpoint, 18 years before the first section, and by a man who I had just convinced myself was a woman.

after reading the first two "sections" of the book I was thoroughly confused and slightly discouraged. these sections are from the viewpoint of persons mentally handicapped [Benjamin] and/or unstable [Quentin], and constantly switch from present to past events without warning.

I took a little break from the book. it was right after the scooter crash and I needed to rest my brain as well as my leg. I read some light + fluffy stuff, and watched a whole lot of West Wing. when I came back to it [after writing my 13 by 2013 list] I was determined I would get through this crazy book.

and then, the third section. thank you, Jason, for being mostly sane if not completely rational. that's when things finally start to make sense. I won't give away the story [in case you want to read it] but please if you pick this book up, stick with it until you get to the third section. it doesn't fill in all the blanks, but it pulls together the first two sections into something semi-coherent. the fourth section is much easier to get through. my book was also an edition with Faulker's appendix... I would recommend finding it online if your book doesn't come with, as it helped to round out the whole story.

the plot is intriguing, but what really makes this book is the style of writing. it is completely unlike anything I've ever read before. [I have read Faulkner's as I lay dying, but I don't remember it being this wild]. I'm glad I was able to tough it out and finish it, and cross it off my 13 by 2013 list!

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